2017-02-17 06:22:06 Ecns.cn
In its latest response to reported cases of sales and consumption of pangolins, China's State Forestry Administration (SFA) said those eating protected wild animals will face legal charges.
In a statement released on the Twitter-like social media Sina Weibo, SFA said the recent crackdown on buying, sale and eating of pangolins has been the focus of public opinion, with the campaign expected to mark a turning point in the protection of wild animals and plants.
China will make more effort to protect pangolins to conserve nature, said the statement.
Pangolins are listed as a second-class animal under state protection. Experts say a single pangolin can protect 17 hectares of mountain forest from the damage of termites. The animal's meat is considered a delicacy in China and its scales are believed to have medicinal qualities.
In early February, posts about a suspected government official in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region feasting on endangered pangolins at a banquet drew outrage on social media. Then later, a netizen who bragged on Weibo that she had dined out on pangolin is subject of a police investigation in Guangdong Province.
An amended law on the protection of wildlife in China that took effect on Jan. 1 bans the eating of wildlife under protection and use of its products.